Comparing lights for video-interviews

This video is only useful for those who shoot video-interviews and are confused with the various options available (from a simple CFL to a costly LED light).

You can buy the CAME-TV lights from their website. They ship from China so I don’t know if you will still receive them with the India-China thing going on presently. I had got mine much before the current situation arose.

The Yongnuo ones, just search on Amazon and you will find them. The models are – YN360 and YN300.


I want to make a documentary film on the Indian farmer – hear me out.

Almost half of the total Indian population depends on agriculture. And yet there is not a single full length documentary movie that tells us where we were, where we are and where we are headed to. I want to change that.

I want to make a film that shows the life of few real farmers over a period of two years. And as you see their life, you learn about everything else – the history and the future that many young entrepreneurs are trying to shape.

Help me raise money for this.

This is easily going to be a 2 to 3 year project. INR 50 lakh is a good budget. I know I will pull off a Netflix level documentary with this much money in 3 years max. I could make the below film from 2 weeks of shoot followed by another 2 weeks of editing.

If you are an investor or a startup in the agri sector, you must definitely consider this project.

If you are someone watching my progress from the sideline, subscribe to my (sort of) weekly newsletter so that I can keep you updated (with things in general – not just this particular project).

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Gully Boy Story Structure

Last week, I stumbled upon a brilliant video by Michael Arndt. Michael is the writer of Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) (and a bunch of other films). In the video linked here, you will hear his voice explaining something specific – what makes for a great ending in a film. He gives examples of three Hollywood movies (including one of his own). For anyone enthusiastic about understanding how long format storytelling works in movies, it’s a fascinating video to watch.

Anyway so I looked around (Youtube) to see if something similar existed for Bollywood films. Nothing did. So I though I’d make few videos myself – although not just focusing on ‘endings’. The Gully Boy Story Structure is the first such video. It took me few days to write down the structure and then another two days to put together the video.

Gully boy is essentially one main story and two side-stories.

  1. The main story  – is Murad’s “quest story” that has an underlying philosophical conflict – dreaming big Vs. thinking small. In any typical quest story, the  protagonist sets out to acquire an important goal and faces temptations and other obstacles along the way. He is also helped by mentors and motivators in the journey and the story ends when he usually gets what he wants. He or She.
  2. The first side story in Gully boy is a morality story where the philosophical conflict is between being morally upright that Murad represents (at least when the story begins) Vs. doing whatever it takes to survive, that Moin represents.
  3. And then we have the second side story – the love story between Safina and Murad which follows a in-love to breakup to back-in-love arc.

I will do such kind of story structure breakdowns for few more good Indian films over the next few weeks. If you have a suggestion, do let me know. And if you aren’t already subscribed, do it now.

All Art Artists

Being an artist – DJ Zameer

DJ Zameer pinged me on Facebook one day. He asked me to consider him for the next subject of my BAA (Being an artist) series. Is DJing an art? I asked myself.

I guess in my head, I never looked at DJing like that – an art-form. But what is a DJ if not an artist ultimately?

This 3 Minute Story is from the few hours that I spent with Zameer in the second half of 2019. He showed me around his rented house in Anjuna (where he also demoed his fancy blue light setup) and then took me to a gig where he performed.

He shared with me stories of where he grew up, his earlier corporate jobs, the politics of being a DJ in Goa, the struggles to make money – especially in the first year, and his approach to living life.

‘After ambition ends, then peace begins’, he shared with me during the video interview. That’s why he has avoided having fixed targets in life, he explained.

I hope watching this story brings you some peace. What you do with your ambition, I leave that to you.

I am looking to document lives and thoughts of more artists.

Share this story with artists you know? I’ve expressed my motivation behind this ‘Being an artist’ series in some detail here.

I know we are living under pandemic times. Shooting may be on hold for the months to come. That shouldn’t stop me from at least building up a pipeline of artists to document though, right?

The two other stories already published in this series are on Nimmy – a ceramic / terracotta artist and Waylon – an installation artist (also a landscape designer). Hope you see / have seen them too.

All Initiative Social

A day in the life of civil society volunteers in India, helping the migrants during Covid times.

Correction: In the video, it says Fatorda is in North Goa. It is actually in South Goa.

All Fintech Startups

Can startups help solve the Financial inclusion issue in India?

India has a long way to go before it can call itself financially inclusive. Even for basic financial needs like a loan, insurance or better investment opportunities (than gold), the poor (technically middle-class – the cooks, drivers, vegetable sellers etc.) don’t have access like the rich.

One of the primary reasons they don’t have this access to financial products is because the quantum that they typically need is of low-value, ranging from say few hundred to just few thousand rupees. This 3MinuteStory is on a fin-tech startup – Setu – that tackles this problem head on.

The story structure emerged mostly as a interviewed Sahil, the founder, on a Monday morning in Bangalore. I interviewed not just on-camera but off-camera as well (a lot). In fact, before I added visuals, I created a blank cut with just interviews, music, gaps and my voice-over (given the technical nature of the problem and solution been explained). It took a bit of iterations to add the visual layer, relying mostly on shots of the Setu team working on their laptops and having discussions with each other (some arranged just so that I could get video footage :P). When I was editing this story, some of my earlier footage from a village came in handy too. There were parts where I thought an animation could bring out the concept better and so I went for it. Setu’s design team helped me refine the animation quality once we had the almost final cut. And for some parts, I just licensed stock footage!

This video-story was commissioned by Setu. You can write to me at or to commission me to make similar video-stories.

All Art Artists

Being an artist – Waylon D’Souza

This is the second video that I created for my Being an Artist series. Hope you like it.

All Art Artists Woman-power

Being an artist – Nimmy Joshi

This is the first video in my ‘Being an Artist’ series. The plan is to meet more artists, with different experiences, from different genres, of different genders, beliefs, and put out their stories, their way of life.

There is no one way of being an artist. And being an artist is a valid, genuine career / lifestyle choice. The idea of this ongoing series is so reinforce this perspective.

If you like my work, do subscribe so that I can keep in touch with you via email.

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All Rural India Social Startups

How Indian farmers are finally making profit!

Some basic changes in the approach to farming, is showing dramatic improvements in profitability for thousands of farmers in India. This is that story. I was commissioned by a startup – Bharat Agri, (from IITM juniors) to make it. Hope you like the 3MS.

The folks at Bharat Agri have been doing great work since quite some time, but were struggling to put together a good video that conveyed what they did. A video makes it easier for their sales team to start dialogues with more farmers.

“What is that you don’t like about the videos that you already have”? I ask Sai, the co-founder as we drive to a village to attend a farmers meet. “The audio sucks”, I am explained.

🙂 I hope the audio doesn’t suck in my video. Let me know? Btw, you can also watch the behind the scenes video of how I went about making this 3MS (if that is something you like to watch).

Part 1:

Part 2:

All Education NGO Organization Schools Social

Is this the best use of INR 40 lakh ever? Incredible story of what Saleem did!

Indus Action commissioned me to make a story on this amazing 40 lakh grant that they have to offer to anyone with relevant experience who can commit to work for 3 years for getting underprivileged children to schools. I asked them if there was someone who had already received the grant? They said yes. I suggested we tell that person’s story. They agreed. This is that story. This is Saleem’s story. What exactly did Saleem do with 40 lakh rupees? How do you get underprivileged children to schools? Watch it spread the good word about the grant! Thanks!